Balboa Park 9.2011
Whale of a Show
Dramatic photographic images of whales from around the world by National Geographic photographer Charles “Flip” Nicklin will be on display Sept. 17 through Dec. 31 at the Ordover Gallery in the San Diego Natural History Museum. The exhibition, titled “Among the Giants,” also features images from Ralph Lee Hopkins, Paul Nicklen and Abe Ordover and a showing of whale sculptures by sculptor Randy Puckett.
Nicklin, is widely regarded as the world’s leading cetacean photographer. He has served as the lead photographer and marine-mammal specialist for the National Geographic Society. The North American Nature Photography Association has named him the Outstanding Nature Photographer of the Year. Nicklin migrates with the humpbacks, spending summers in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska and winters off Maui, Hawaii. Over the last quarter-century he has photographed over 30 species of whales and dolphins, some so endangered their very survival is in question. In 2001, Nicklin co-founded Whale Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and public education.
Puckett has sustained a passion for creating whales through sculpture. He has been diving with research biologists and humpback whales, been within 50 feet of a blue whale, observed river dolphins in the Orinoco and sperm whales in the North Pacific and Sea of Cortez, orcas off Puget Sound and bottlenose dolphins off Florida. Puckett’s work can also be seen at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla.
“Among the Giants” is sponsored in part by Lindblad Expeditions. The public opening and reception of this show will be Sept. 17, featuring a lecture and slide show by Nicklin along with a book signing in the Ordover Gallery. Those interested in more information about lectures and opening events can call (619) 255-0210.
Museum of Art Docent Training
The San Diego Museum of Art is offering a docent training program that covers a broad history of art while focusing on works of art in the museum’s permanent collection. The two-year continuous program has entrance periods in September and January. The training curriculum emphasizes a study of techniques and strategies for touring adults, children and individuals wih special needs. Participants in the program learn to give PowerPoint presentations and will hear lectures by docents, museum staff, curators and local scholars, and will take field trips to regional exhibitions. The next program will begin Sept. 7. Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. Newly trained docents contribute a minimym of eight touring hours monthly. To enroll or to get more information, send an e-mail to Ruth Broudy, manager of docent programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Play at Girl Scouts Campus
San Diego companies looking for an invigorating retreat venue might consider booking a “Corporate Day in the Park” at Girl Scouts San Diego’s campus in Balboa Park. The property features an “Adventure Zone” where attendees can climb a 40-foot tower, explore a six-level, fully accessible tree house — complete with ladders, suspension bridges, sliding poles and climbing ropes — try their hand at archery, attempt challenge courses, engage in team-building activities, and, if desired, work on community service projects. Amenities include indoor/outdoor meeting and picnic areas, grills, fire rings, restrooms and ample parking. Catered meals are also available. The fees support Girl Scout programs such as camp (above photo), held at the Balboa Park site and other locations. Open to all girls, the sessions mix traditional camp fun with leadership development activities and other lessons … including discovering nature.
Other programs at the Girl Scouts campus:
• Urban Campout: Hooray for Hollywood! Sept. 16 (1231 Upas St.) The 14th annual fundraiser will feature a surprise guest star and Hollywood-themed games and a live soundtrack by The Mighty Untouchables band. Tickets are $175 for individuals and $1,750 for tables of 10, with VIP seating also available. For more information, visit sdgirlscouts.org/uc or call (619) 610-0807.
• New Day 5K and Sharp Health Expo on Sept 25. One-mile and 5K participants will run or walk the scenic course along De Anza Cove in Mission Bay Park. The mile event will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the 5K at 8 a.m. Register at sdgirlscounts.org/5k. Entry fees range from $15 to $30.
Yoga and Arthritis
Bri. Damara Shamugan from A Gentle Way Yoga Center will deliver a lecture on “Arthritis and Yoga: The Impact of Exercise” on Sept. 10 at the San Diego Museum of Man’s Gill Auditorium. Start time of 11 a.m. The lecture is in conjunction with the museum’s exhibition, “Strange Bones: Curiosities of the Human Skeleton.” Shamugan will explain how yoga can ease the pain of arthritis. He is a member of the Himalayan Academy.
Celebrating Mexican Independence
Four museums in the park will celebrate over 200 years of Mexican Independence will “Viva Mexico” programs on Sept. 14 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The sponsors are the Museum of Man, Mingei Internation Museum, San Diego Museum of Art and the Timkin Museum of Art in collaboration with the Consulate General of Mexico, San Diego, the Prado Restaurant and XEWT-TV. Roaming mariachis, folkloric dancers and Mexican cuisine will be offered. The Prado Restaurant will have a different Mexican delicacy at each museum, which will be paired with its complementary beverage — Mexican wine or beer. Tickets for “Viva Mexico” are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the event. Children 6 and under free. Advance tickets are on sale online at three sites: vivamexico2011.eventbrite.com; museumofman.org; and mingei.org/vivamexico.
Lighting Retrofit Project
The San Diego History Center has begun work on an extensive lighting retrofit project aimed at reducing its energy consumption and aiding in the preservation of its historic artifacts. It is the first institution in the park to implement light emitting diodes throughout its gallery space. Nicholas Vega, director of exhibitions, said the retrofit was made possible by funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dispersed to the city of San Diego, which then granted it to various institutions throughout Balboa Park. The History Center is expected to save 80,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually or roughly the equivalent of removing eight to 10 single-family homes from the grid. All materials used in the project are mandated to be American made. “This lighting project is going to be a great enhancement to our museum,” said Vega. “The addition of the new LED lighting system will have an immediate impact on our exhibitions; artifacts will now be displayed in a brighter, crisper light without compromising the physical condition of the featured object.” Absolutely Electric and Nixon Lighting Design, firms owned by Travis Nixon, were selected to author the design/build lighting proposal as well as undertake the retrofit process.mThe project began on Aug. 10 and is expected to conclude in early October
Top Dog in Balboa Park
Does your dog have the chops to be Balboa Park’s Top Dog? Find out by entering the second annual Balboa Park Top Dog Photo Contest. Entries will be accepted through Sept. 16 and winners will be announced on Oct. 3 following an online vote of the top 25 entries. The grand prize winner receives an exclusive overnight Su’ruff Camp package from Loews Coronado Bay Resort. Sponsored by Balboa Park Central, the contest gives visitors the chance to show their photographic skills by submitting pictures of their dog taken anywhere in Balboa Park. Photos of a single dog taken anywhere in the park should be submitted via the contest Website at balboapark.org/topdog through Sept.16 (one entry per dog per family). A committee of judges from Balboa Park will choose 25 finalists to be posted on BalboaPark.org, where visitors can vote for their favorite from Sept. 21-30. Loews Coronado Bay Resort’s Su’ruff Camp package includes a one-night stay in deluxe accommodations at Loews Coronado Bay Resort, surfing lessons for one dog, and a variety of other doggie amenities and treats. One second place winner can have a fine art portrait of their dog painted by Valarie Duke of SoCal Pet Portraits (a $450 value) and receive a Family 4-Pack of Balboa Park Passports.
History Center Director Leaves
David M. Kahn has stepped down as executive director of the San Diego History Center to take a position as executive director of the Adirondack Museum in upstate New York. A search committee headed by Iris Engstrand and Tom Fetter has been organized to find a successor during which time an interim director will be appointed to oversee operations. During Kahn’s tenure, the center underwent restructuring to streamline the organization and focus its mission as a museum, education center and research library. Kahn secured major grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Institute of Museum Library Services to enhance access center collections. Under Kahn’s direction, visitation by schools increased by 68 percent to 21,000 students a year. Kahn previously served as director of the Louisiana State Museum, the Connecticut Historical Society and the Brooklyn Historical Society prior to coming to San Diego.
Docent Council Lecture Series
Roxana Velasquez, director of the San Diego Museum of Art, will open the museum’s Docent Council Lecture Series, “Remarkable Re-Visions,” on Sept. 16 at 10 a.m. Her topic: “Spanish Art: From the Golden Age of Sacred Painting to Modernity.” The admission price for each lecture, which includes museum admission on the day of the lecture and a special docent-led tour following is $12 for museum members; $15 for nonmembers; $8 for seniors, students and military. The Docent Council also can bring a presentation to organizations for a fee of $100. Current programs being offered: From El Greco to Dali: Great Spanish Masters; Talouse Lautrec’s Paris; Dreams and Diversions – Japanese Woodblock Prints; Gainsborough and the Modern Woman; Old Masters in New Light – The Art of the Renaissance and Baroque Eras. For information, call (619) 696-1953. To schedule a community presentation, e-mail email@example.com.